Best Ski Resorts For Christmas: Your Festive Guide To The Alps

Image of skiers in the Alps on a snowy day

The end of summer may be a disappointment for some. But not for those of us who are mad on skiing. For us, the end of summer simply means we’re one step closer to the next ski season!

It’s never too early to start planning your next big skiing holiday, and what better time than Christmas to experience the magic of the Alps?

To find that picture-perfect Christmas ski resort, we’ve put together a guide on the best ski resorts for Christmas.

From the best family-friendly resorts to the most romantic alpine settings– read on to make this festive season your best yet.

 

Why Choose A Christmas Ski Trip?

Ski season in the Alps starts as early as September in some high-altitude resorts. However, most resorts open November/December time.

Before we look at the best early season ski resorts, let’s just clear up why we love skiing in December;

  • You can experience different festive traditions around Europe
  • You can enjoy a white Christmas in the Alps
  • You can work off your Christmas dinner
  • You can leave the cooking to your chalet chef
  • The slopes are quieter than February half term
  • You can avoid the awkward family chit chat by heading to the slopes!

You may also like: When is the Best Time to Book a Ski Holiday

 

Can You Ski On Christmas Day?

Yes, you can! After a festive breakfast feast, hit the slopes to start the day on a high. Here’s a tip from us – you may feel out of place without a silly Christmas outfit so pack your Santa hat!

 

Where Can You Ski in Austria at Christmas?

Famed for its delightful Christmas markets and cosy traditions, Austria makes a quaint Christmas ski holiday destination. Let’s take a look at some of the best Austrian resorts to visit over the festive period;

Christmas market in Austria

 

Kitzbühel

Beautiful Kitzbühel is home to traditional alpine architecture and truly comes into its own over the festive period. A must-visit for the captivating Christmas market alone which runs from the end of November all the way up until Christmas Eve. Choose handmade crafts or edible treats for your loved ones’ Christmas presents and reward yourself with a hot chocolate at one of the many cafes.

Young families will be entertained by local choirs which gather in the traffic-free centre or by visiting the mini petting zoo.

In terms of skiing, Kitzbühel offers skiers 800m worth of pistes to explore, including a decent selection of challenging reds and blacks.

Transfer time: 1h45 from Innsbruck
Top reason to visit: The enchanting Christmas market
Skiing level: Suitable for all levels of skiers
Who for: Families and couples
Don’t leave without: Trying a delicious pastry!

 

Ischgl

Ischgl takes Christmas seriously, with a jam-packed calendar of festive events to get the season started.

From their winter concert to the annual Krampus run in which mystical horned creatures parade through town by candlelight in traditional costume. You’re bound to get swept up in the spirit of Christmas here. Even once Christmas day has been and gone, the merriment continues with a spectacular torch-lit show from some of Ischgl’s finest skiers and snowboarders.

Ischgl in Tyrol has reliable snow cover, offering high peaks and contemporary ski lifts. The well-equipped snowboard park attracts keen snowboarders, and families can take advantage of one of the longest Toboggan runs in the Alps!

Transfer time: 1h40 from Innsbruck
Top reason to visit: The weird and wonderful Krampus run
Skiing level: Suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders
Who for: Families and keen snowboarders
Don’t leave without: Trying out a Toboggan!

 

Lech

If you’re looking to party this Christmas, Lech Zürs am Arlberg delivers. With acclaimed DJs hitting the decks at the top night spots around the resort, you can see Christmas in with a bang. Gaze at the well-adorned Christmas tree in the pretty town square and visit the Christmas market to get yourself in the spirit of the season.

Lech is part of the Silvretta ski area, giving you access to lots of fantastic pistes. Great ski schools, off-piste terrain and the first ever heated chairlift can all be found at this resort, making it more than just a pretty picture.

Transfer time: 1h50 from Innsbruck
Top reason to visit:The picture-perfect Christmas lights
Skiing level: Best for intermediate skiers
Who for: Anyone with a little extra cash to spare
Don’t leave without: Hitting the best nightlife spots!

 

Mayrhofen

For a traditional white Christmas, look no further than Mayrhofen ski resort. At this special time of year, you’ll find the resort adorned with green wreathes and brass ensembles playing carols.

Hitting the slopes, you’ll be overlooked by the impressive Hintertux glacier as you explore the 142km of runs. Head to Penken Park if you fancy some terrain park thrills or the ice skating rink when you leave the mountain.

Transfer time: 1h30 from Innsbruck
Top reason to visit: The traditional atmosphere and modern ski infrastructure
Skiing level: Beginners and intermediates
Who for: Families or skiers looking to party
Don’t leave without: Giving ice skating a go

 

Best Places to Ski in Italy at Christmas

If you’re looking for a Christmas skiing break without the crowds, Italy could be for you. Here’s our favourite picks for skiing in Italy at Christmas;

 

Cortina

From picturesque rides in a horse drawn sleigh, to browsing the market stalls along the sparkling streets, Cortina ski resort puts on an impressive show when it comes to Christmas. Stylish without being pretentious, peaceful without being dull – a skiing holiday here ticks all the right boxes.

Explore 140km of downhill slopes nestled amongst dramatic mountains, suitable for all levels of skiers.

Transfer time: 2h55 from Innsbruck
Top reason to visit: Quieter slopes
Skiing level: Suitable for all levels of skiers
Who for: Families or skiers looking for a peaceful break
Don’t leave without: Tasting some delicious Italian specialities

 

Cervinia

Early season snow sees Cervinia ski resort being covered by the time December rolls around, making it a great destination for a Christmas skiing holiday.

Wander around the Christmas markets, tasting delicious local produce and picking up handmade toys before hitting the slopes (which should be almost empty at this time of year!)

Transfer time: 1h55 from Turin
Top reason to visit: Excellent snow cover
Skiing level: Suitable for all levels, but particularly intermediates
Who for: Everyone
Don’t leave without: Bring home a selection of artisanal market produce

 

Where Can You Ski in France in December?

Christmas at French ski resorts is packed full of festive events and family fun. Here are some of of the best ski resorts to visit;

 

Val Thorens

Famed for being the highest ski resort in the Alps, Val Thorens is a safe bet when it comes to Christmas skiing holidays. You will be kept entertained from the moment you get dropped off by your transfer driver right up until Boxing day.

Little ones can visit father Christmas in his magical grotto, while adults will enjoy the spectacular fireworks display. That’s if you can tear yourself away from the whopping 600km of runs!

Val Thorens is well suited to all levels of skiers, boasting gentle greens and challenging blacks.

Transfer time: 2h from Chambery
Top reason to visit: The impressive number of slopes on offer
Skiing level: Suitable for all skiing abilities
Who for: Everyone
Don’t leave without: Spotting an ice carving or two

 

Val d’Isere

Val d’Isere ski resort is a favourite Christmas destination and for good reason. Breath-taking alpine scenery, rustic Savoyard architecture and a varied ski area make it a top choice for all types of skiers.

During the festive period, Santa pays the town a visit along with his troop of lively carollers. Soak up the atmosphere with a vin chaud or hot chocolate and enjoy the live music and bustling crowds of excited families.

Transfer time: 2h from Chambery
Top reason to visit: The magical atmosphere at Christmas time
Skiing level: Suitable for all levels of skiers
Who for: Families
Don’t leave without: Getting your face painted at the parade!

 

Courchevel

Treat yourself to a luxurious Christmas in Courchevel, where the lights are twinkling and the drinks are flowing.

The Christmas village is the place to go for last minute gifts made by local craftsmen or watch the night-time Christmas parade pass by.

In terms of skiing, the Three Valleys is the largest linked ski area in Europe, made up of several resort villages including Courchevel 1850 and Meribel- so you’ll be spoilt for choice here.

Transfer time: 2h from Chambery
Top reason to visit: Excellent skiing with a glamorous atmosphere
Skiing level: Most suited to beginners and intermediates
Who for: Skiers looking for a little extra luxury
Don’t leave without: Trying one of the Michelin star restaurants in the area

 

Les Gets

If you’re heading on a family ski trip this Christmas, Les Gets will be right up your street. As well as the normal Christmas activities, also on offer here are chocolate making workshops and a music museum. Perfect for Christmas with a difference.

With historical charm and pretty architecture in spades, Les Gets ski resort makes an enchanting setting in which to enjoy festivities.

Explore the large Portes du Soleil ski area with the whole family before heading back to your pleasingly affordable accommodation.

Transfer time: 1h35 from Geneva International airport
Top reason to visit: Alternative Christmas events for the whole family
Skiing level: Suitable for all skiing abilities
Who for: Families
Don’t leave without: Spotting Santa on his horse drawn sleigh

 

Best Ski Resorts in Switzerland at Christmas

Fantastic snow cover and rustic charm makes Switzerland a picturesque setting to bring in the season. Here are some of our recommended ski resorts in Switzerland;

Christmas market in Switzerland

St Moritz

Fancy spending your Christmas pounding the slopes and frequenting classy bars and five-star restaurants? St Moritz ski resort has all the usual Christmas attractions- traditional markets, torch-lit processions and music, all executed to a high level of chic.

Reliable snow, sunshine and a wide variety of reds and blacks make this ski resort a winner among intermediate and expert skiers.

Transfer time: 3h30 from Zurich
Top reason to visit: To buy glamorous Christmas presents
Skiing level: Intermediate to expert
Who for: Luxurious skiers
Don’t leave without: Hitting the shops

 

Zermatt

With an impressive altitude, Zermatt ski resort promises great snow for a Christmas break on the mountain. Whizz down immaculate white slopes each morning and wander the scenic town in the afternoon. From ice skating to snowshoeing, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

Gravity park is a must-visit for snowboarders looking for an extra hit of adrenaline and the famous après ski scene is perfect for a Christmas after-party!

Transfer time: 3h10 from Geneva
Top reason to visit: The picturesque scenery and white snow
Skiing level: Suitable for all skiing abilities
Who for: Serious skiers
Don’t leave without: Tasting some of their famous Swiss chocolate

 

Wengen

If you’re looking for a traditional family Christmas, Wengen delivers. Attend midnight mass at a beautiful local church, peruse the decorated, car-free streets and dine on festive fondue.

With a wealth of beginner and intermediate friendly slopes to explore, Wengen is perfect for families who can relax in this safe resort.

Transfer time: 2h30 from Zurich
Top reason to visit: Pretty architecture and family-friendly
Skiing level: Best for beginners and intermediates
Who for: Families
Don’t leave without: Taking the mountain railway up to Jungfraujoch or ‘the roof of Europe’

 

Verbier

With ornately decorated Christmas trees, visits from Santa and glorious carol singing, Verbier ski resort transforms into a winter wonderland each December.

Explore the vast Three Valleys skiing area by day and take advantage of the boozy Christmas parties by night. Perfect for a big Yuletide blow out!

Transfer time: 2h20 from Geneva
Top reason to visit: Great off-piste entertainment
Skiing level: All
Who for: Everyone
Don’t leave without: Attending midnight mass

 

BOOK SKI RENTAL HERE

 

Your Christmas Ski Transfer

It’s never too early to book a magical ski trip in the Alps.

Booking your ski transfer with us is one way to save on your ski transfer. After all, who doesn’t need a little extra cash to spend on Christmas presents?

With affordable midweek transfers and free kids ski rental equipment, we’ve got plenty of deals to offer our customers.

Ready to get festive? Book your ski transfer to the Alps to get started.